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26 September 2019, 13:22

Lukashenko: Putin doesn't intend to hold on to power at any cost

MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) – President of Russia Vladimir Putin does not intend to hold on to power at any cost. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the meeting with representatives of Ukrainian mass media on 26 September, BelTA has learned.

The head of state dismissed allegations that Vladimir Putin would like to extend his term of office by getting Belarus to join the Russian Federation. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is not true.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated: “Merging the two countries in order to extend his term of office is not even an idea… After all, merging Belarus with Russia in order to extend his term of office looks too small. Russia is a huge, powerful, and rich country. If one man needs to stay in power longer… They will come up with a dozen options… But I know something else: President Putin does not intend to hold on to power at any cost.”

“Forget all these concerns and idle gossip. It is naive. It is not big politics. Only mass media can debate something like that. But it is not something Putin or I would do because we are talking about prospects, the future existence of the Belarusian state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“What is Lukashenko in comparison to the existence of an independent Belarusian state? What is Zelensky, Poroshenko, all your previous presidents in comparison to the continued independence of Ukraine?” the head of state asked a rhetorical question. “This is why don't be concerned. There can't be and shouldn't be any fears like that.”

The president stressed that Belarus pursues a balanced policy in relations with other countries. The same applies to economic cooperation, including with Ukraine. Belarus-Ukraine trade is huge.

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